“A cord of three strands is not quickly broken” ~ Ecclesiastes 4:12
Ever been in this sticky wicket?
Joe and Jana are two leaders who report to you. But Jana doesn’t like Joe. She thinks he’s overbearing and condescending in the way he interacts with her. Joe doesn’t know this, of course. She’s never told him. But you know it, because, as your direct report, she has come to you and demanded you step in and do something about it.
If you’re like most leaders, here’s what you’re likely to do next: You assure Jana that you’ll look into it. Then you immediately set up a 1-on-1 meeting with Joe, in which you explain that Jana has complained about the way he treats her. Joe gets defensive, says Jana is over-reacting and/or doesn’t know how to relax and take a joke. You nevertheless require Joe to change his approach. He reluctantly agrees. You then meet with Jana 1-on-1 to let her know you’ve talked with Joe, and ask her to come back to you if Joe’s behavior doesn’t change. Jana and Joe, meantime, continue interacting as if none of this has happened, although they are clearly very tense around each other now, even more than they were. Then you…blah blah blah yuck yuck yuck…